OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have revealed good news on the health front ahead of Saturday’s divisional round playoff game with New England.
Not only did Baltimore appear to come out of the 30-17 wild-card win over Pittsburgh without any substantial injuries, but left tackle Eugene Monroe and defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan are expected to return to practices this week. Monroe has missed the last two games since injuring his ankle in Houston while Jernigan hurt his left foot in the regular-season finale and did not play against the Steelers.
“It looks like they will take the practice field tomorrow,” head coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “We’ll see how those guys do, and we’ll have injury reports as we go through the week.”
Monroe’s return could create an interesting decision for the Ravens after they’ve used rookie free agent James Hurst at left tackle while sliding Pro Bowl guard Marshal Yanda out to right tackle with rookie John Urschel filling in at right guard. Hurst was considered the primary backup to Rick Wagner before the starting right tackle went on injured reserve late last month, but Yanda has filled in admirably at right tackle and Hurst is a more natural fit on the left side, making you wonder if the Ravens might continue using Yanda and Urschel on the right side with Monroe returning to his left tackle spot.
Of course, the presence of five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Vince Wilfork on the New England defensive line could make Yanda’s return to the right guard position a preferable scenario.
Jernigan filled in admirably in place of the suspended Haloti Ngata for four games, but the latter’s return to action for the playoffs means the rookie will return to a part-time role, which would certainly boost an already-deep group of defensive linemen.